These last few weeks in lockdown has given me this gift of time and opportunity to think about my life. Through running my own business I have found my voice and I refuse to hide anymore!

17 years ago I had a life changing experience. I spent 3 days at the Priory mental health hospital in London. This incredible experience completely shattered my world, everything that I thought was real was gone over night. My family was blown apart, nothing would ever be the same again. It was terrifying.

I grew up, in what seemed to the outside world, as a loving and stable family, and this is what I thought too. But there were things that didn’t quite add up and I couldn’t work out what and why.

My experience at the Priory showed me how my survival mechanism growing up was to sacrifice my true self and create this other person my parents wanted me to be. It was this version of me they loved, and it was on the strictest condition that I towed the line. One false move and I felt I would be rejected. So my true self almost completely disappeared and shrank to nothing. I was just a shell.

So I began this exciting, scary and exhausting process of rebuilding my life. I had to relearn so much that normally our subconscious does automatically for us. It’s a challenge but I wouldn’t change this experience for the world. In fact, I wished it had happened sooner. I am discovering myself, learning who I am and this feels so good.

My family has put itself back together as best it can. I have learnt that we only know life from our own experiences. My parents did not act out of malice, but were unable to see beyond their own experiences. They are my parents and I will always love them.

As I peel away the layers of my old habits, learnt behaviour and survival techniques, I am gradually finding my true self and who I really am. Key moments of discovery keep on coming. A couple of years ago my Mum was seriously ill and spent 8 weeks in intensive care. At this very difficult time I was blown away by how kind everyone at the hospital was to our whole family. The doctors, nurses, receptionist, everyone! I thought, wow, this is how I want to be. This experience taught me about compassion and kindness. This is the kind of world I want to live in and be part of. I continue learning about myself everyday and aspire to be as kind and compassionate as I can.

I carry this through whole heartedly into my brand. Kindness is the main value that underpins everything I do at Chez Beccy. I have come to realise that as a society we are not good at being kind to ourselves and this is so important. It because we aren’t taught how. My mission with Chez Beccy is to help other women be kind to themselves so they too can grow and fullfill their true potential!